In The Lead: Top 50 / Pittsburgh region's top public companies based on growth

This year's rankings feature home-grown tech companies to U.K. medical companies

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Blockbuster IPOs, savvy sell-offs and increased business propelled this year's top growth companies from the middle or bottom of last year's list to the top of the region.

This year's growth rankings — which consider revenue growth, profit growth, rises in stock prices and return on equity — feature businesses ranging from home-grown tech companies to U.K. medical companies. Rounding out the top five are North Huntingdon-based ExOne, Netherlands-based Royal Phillips Electronics, Downtown-based PPG Industries, Downtown-based EQT, and United Kingdom-based GlaxoSmithKline.

Top companies by growth
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Boosted by a 37.8 percent change in revenue and a 235.9 percent jump in stock price, 3-D printing machine manufacturer ExOne took the lead as this year's top growth company.

In February 2013, the company merged with a Delaware corporation and filed an initial public offering at $18 per share. By September, there was a secondary public offering at $62 per share.

Since the first of the year, ExOne shares have lost about half of their value as investor enthusiasm for 3-D stocks dimmed. In 2013, ExOne saw revenues of $39.5 million, up from $28.7 million the previous fiscal year, and a net loss of $6.5 million, down from $10.2 million the previous year.

Amsterdam, Netherlands-based electronics company Royal Philips Electronics jumped from the No. 10 growth slot in 2012 to No. 2 this year thanks to a 3,441 percent change in net income, the highest net income increase of all Top 50 companies.

Coatings and specialty materials company PPG Industries jumped from No. 11 on last year's growth chart all the way up to No. 3, thanks to a 243.4 percent increase in net income, the second highest increase among Top 50 contenders. The company also posted a 71.8 percent return on equity for stockholders, the second highest among Top 50 companies.

PPG posted net income of $3.2 billion, up from $941 million in 2012. Fourth-quarter earnings per share jumped 45 percent from the previous year.

Natural gas company EQT Corp., which didn't make last year's Top 50 growth list, landed in this year's No. 4 slot thanks to a 35.2 percent increase in annual revenue and a 113 percent increase in net income. In 2013, EQT made net income of $390.6 million, up from $183.4 million in 2012.

For pharmaceutical and consumer health care company GlaxoSmithKline, the move from the No. 33 spot last year to No. 5 on this year's growth chart was aided by an 85 percent return on equity for stockholders, the highest in the index. The company posted 2013 earnings of $8.9 billion, up from $7.3 billion in 2012.

— Deborah M. Todd: or 412-263-1652.

Deborah M. Todd: or 412-263-1652. First Published May 13, 2014 11:10 AM

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